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12 minute read

Career Confessions: How a Former Musician Found His Harmony in Cybersecurity

Previously in the music industry, Luke Chen took up the challenge of trading in his passion for rhythm for a career in cybersecurity. 

Watch The Full Video Interview Here!

Luke Chen is not your typical cybersecurity guy. Working as a cybersecurity engineer at the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) in Singapore, he’s part of a team that designs and implements cybersecurity solutions for MINDEF. 

He arrives at the interview, donning a semi-casual office outfit in a polo shirt and blazer. You wouldn’t have guessed that he used to be a musician in his past life. 

“I was a musician for most of my working life,” he shares his experience as a member of a local band playing the drums. “My job mainly involved performing at various night spots like bars, clubs, and restaurants. That would be about 5-6 nights a week.” 

That’s not all he did as a musician. By night, he may have been creating beats for the crowd to relax to, but by day, he also taught in music schools and enrichment and CCA classes at MOE schools.

But when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe, the music industry suffered a massive blow. With two young kids to provide for, Luke and his wife, who was also in the music industry, had to reassess their career plans. “I got to thinking what else that I can do in order to broaden my horizons a bit,” he shared. 

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“If Covid happened, it could happen again. So, we felt there was no sense in both of us being in the music industry…,” he explained. He decided to make the career switch, while his wife continued with music. 

At the time, Luke had considered entering the IT sector. “I felt it was a field I could probably do well in,” he said. 

It was also timely, as there was a growing market demand for data science and security professionals. As such, he decided to try venturing into one of those areas and stumbled upon the Red Alpha Cybersecurity bootcamp programme* during his research. 

“Many boot camps and training programmes required certain educational qualifications, like a degree or a diploma. The Red Alpha programme did not have such a hard requirement, and it was more based on an aptitude test,” he shared. 

“So I just took the aptitude test and as they say, the rest is history.”

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But it was no easy feat either, simply getting into the programme. There were some challenges that Luke had to overcome – the main one being having to get back into the learning mindset once again. 

“It’s been many years since I’ve been in school!” he quipped. “To be required to sit in a classroom and to absorb information every day, I think that was one of the biggest challenges.”

Watch the full interview to learn more about Luke Chen’s career switch story and how he succeeded in this journey.

Want to watch more of our videos from the Career Confessions series, and more? Click here

*The Alpha Specialist Training Programme is a programme offered by Red Alpha Cybersecurity that uses training labs and hands-on lessons to equip trainees with practical skills to address real-world cybersecurity incidents.

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